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USDA Announces $3.6 Billion in Funding for 82 Electric Projects

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the USDA will provide $3.6 billion in loans to electric utilities in 31 states to fund 82 projects.  The loans, which will be provided through the Electric Program and the Rural Utilities Service, include $216 million for smart grid technologies, $35 million for renewable energy, $26 million for environmental...

D.C. Circuit Hears Challenge to Clean Power Plan

Ten D.C. Circuit judges heard argument regarding the EPA’s authority to enact the Clean Power Plan and the rule’s constitutionality.  All active judges on the D.C. Circuit, with the exception of Merrick Garland, heard arguments from state government, power industry groups, the federal government and environmental...

Department of Energy to Award $34MM for Cybersecurity Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy announced its plan to award $34 million for projects aimed at developing technologies and tools to increase cyberattack protection for the country’s energy infrastructure.  The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is receiving funding for a technology that can quickly identify anomalies in utility control communications that can indicate cyber...

USDA Offers Loan Guarantees for Coops

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide up to $250 million in loan guarantees for commercial-scale refineries and manufacturing facilities as long as they focus on biofuels and renewable chemicals.  Applicants must provide at least 20 percent of the funding for eligible project costs and groups can form a consortium to apply for the money.  Applications for an...

EKPC Planning 60-Acre Solar Farm

East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) has announced plans to build a solar project consisting of 32,000 photovoltaic on 60 acres next to its main office.  EKPC will allow customers to purchase licenses to receive power from the project and receive credits on their monthly bills for doing so, offering them the opportunity to participate in a voluntary program similar to other...

Missouri Coop Selected for USDA Small Business Program

Bourbon, Missouri-based Crawford Electric Cooperative has been selected to participate in a USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program.  Through the REDLG program, the USDA makes interest free loans to utilities that they in turn lend to local businesses to promote employment and growth in their...

USDA Announces New Program to Help Rural Utilities

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the new Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP).  RESP is a program aimed at helping rural residents conserve energy and save money on their utility bills.  The RESP will make available $52 million in interest free loans to rural energy providers who fund projects for consumers to make energy efficient improvements in their homes...

EIA Predicts Slow Sales Growth

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has forecasted slow electricity sales growth over the next 25 years in its latest Annual Energy Outlook.  The EIA predicts that the electricity sales to commercial customers will increase at an average annual rate of 0.7 percent through 2040, while residential sales through 2040 will increase at a rate of only 0.3 percent, despite a projected...

S&P Issues Favorable Report on Coop Credit

On June 7 S&P Global Ratings (S&P) released a report on the electric cooperative sector.  The report generally strikes a positive note, highlighting the “resilience” of electric cooperatives and concluding that even the implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan will not pose an “imminent threat” to the credit quality of...

USDA Invests More Than $200 Million in Electric Infrastructure Improvements in Five States

The USDA recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Rural Electrification Act and announced funding of more than $200 million to build and upgrade rural electric infrastructure in five states.  East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Inc. will receive a $131.8 million loan to acquire the Bluegrass Generating Facility, a natural gas fired power...

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